The Marshall Thundering Herd women’s basketball team hopes to get back in their winning ways against the Bluefield College Rams Sunday at home.
Marshall returns home after a road trip that saw them take on two Power-5 programs in Penn State and North Carolina. The Herd try to remain undefeated at home this season when the Rams travel to the Cam Henderson Center. Marshall looks to be heavy favorites against Bluefield College, who will be on the back-end of two straight games.
The Herd have had a strong start to the young season, while also testing themselves against some of the nation’s top programs with their difficult non-conference schedule. Sitting at 5-3 overall, “the Cam” is definitely home sweet home for Marshall, who is 3-0 on their home court.
Marshall head coach Matt Daniel isn’t worried about their upcoming opponent, just his team.
“I’m not really worried about Bluefield, the same way I wasn’t worried about North Carolina” Daniel said. “ We just need to continue to get better, grow, and get tougher. We need to condition ourselves mentally and physically for the tough road ahead.”
The team wants to get back on track after a terrible offensive performance against North Carolina. The Tarheels defense held the Herd to just 26.4% shooting from the field in the Herd’s 75-53 loss. Leading scorer Shayna Gore also looks to bounce back from a game in which she led the team in scoring with 10 points, but shot an abysmal 4-16 from the floor, far off her season shooting percentage of 41 percent. Defensively, Marshall also was not up to par with their previous performances this year after allowing UNC to shoot 41 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point territory.
One of the reasons for Marshall’s strong defense this season is the emergence of freshman forward Ashley Saintigene. Standing at 6 foot 2 inches tall, Saintigene is the tallest player the Herd have put on the floor. The first-year player has 19 blocks on the season, almost double the amount of anyone else on the team. Senior forward Talequia Hamilton is second on the team with 10 blocks this season. Combined, the two players have accounted for 65 percent of the teams 44 blocks this season.
Marshall has improved every year under Daniel, as the goals the coaching staff sets become loftier with continued success. Following the loss to the Tarheels, Hamilton still has the same goal in mind for the team this season.
“Our goal this year is to win conference” Hamilton said. “I don’t care if we lose every game from here on out as long as we win conference.”
Sunday’s contest is the first of a five-game home stand the Herd embark on over the next few weeks. The game tips-off at 1 p.m.